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10 steps to exercise your abs

Instead of doing repetitive crunches on the floor, trainers suggest a combination of diet, cardiovascular exercise and dynamic ab exercises.

 

1. Plan to do a 15 to 20 minute abdominal workout.

In addition to other exercises 3 to 4 times a week. Rest for 1 day between ab workouts.

 

2. Focus on your deep ab muscles.

Such as your transverse abdominis, rectus abdominis and internal/external obliques. Doing exercises that work your pelvic floor are a good place to start controlling the important abdominal muscles that most people skip during an ab workout.

 

3. Aim to work your abs until they fail

Just like strength training with weights, the best way to sculpt muscles is to work them hard enough so that they have to rebuild during your rest days.

 

4. Choose standing ab exercises over laying down exercises

If you only have time to do a limited number of exercises, remember that standing or extended exercises work your entire core, instead of the top muscles.

 

5. Add weights to your crunches

When you do ab exercises laying down, hold 5 to 10 lb. (2.2 to 4.5kg) weights for added toning. Your body has to try harder to keep your shoulders above the ground.

 

6. Breathe properly

Inhale on the easiest part of the exercise, then breathe out when it is harder. This will also keep your ab muscles from popping out.

 

7. Lift your abs in and up

In order to tone abs, you must lift both deep and surface muscles in toward your rib cage.

 

8. Warm up with 5 minutes of cardio before any ab exercise

You need to loosen your lower back to minimize strain on it. Back and stomach muscles are closely linked, and any good ab workout will strengthen the back as well.

 

9. Keep a fist's distance between your chin and your chest

Don't look down all the time, or you will strain your neck. Lead with your abs, not your chin.

 

10. Move slowly through each move

Taking 2 to 5 more seconds with each exercise will tone your body faster in the long run. People often use too much momentum to complete ab movements. (SOURCE: WikHow)

 

Photo: Fotolia

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